Like many American cities, Jacksonville—the largest city in Florida—faces some serious problems regarding unemployment, disinvestment, and concentrated generational poverty— and, like most cities, has only a limited set of resources available to tackle these problems. Are there strategies and models that can help Jacksonville build community wealth more effectively in the neighborhoods, like Northwest Jacksonville, that need this help most?
This was the question on the mind of ICARE (the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation, and Empowerment—a network of 38 local congregations and 30,000 residents) when they asked Mayor Alvin Brown to explore the possibilities for undertaking a concerted effort to address the economic issues facing the city. This initial request led to the report featured here, which was the result of a process that began with over 40 interviews with key community stakeholders conducted by The Democracy Collaborative at the end of 2013, and culminated with a citywide Community Wealth Building Rountable jointly organized by the City of Jacksonsville, ICARE, and The Democracy Collaborative on March 27th and 28th, 2014.
Connecting civic and community leaders with national best practices, The Democracy Collaborative brought key partners from the five Community Wealth Building Initiatives we've helped spearhead—in Cleveland; Amarillo, Texas; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; and Washington, D.C.—to the Roundtable to share the lessons learned in those cities. The video of the roundtable featured here highlights the remarks of those invited guests, as well as the contributions of some of Jacksonville's passionate local advocates for a renewed approach to comprehensive community economic development.